Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, John 6:68
Have you taken God for your happiness? Where does the desire of your heart lie? What is the source of your greatest satisfaction? Come then, and with Abraham lift up your eyes eastward, and westward, and northward, and southward, and look around you; what is it that you would have in heaven or on earth to make you happy? If God would give you your choice, as he did to Solomon, what would you ask? Go into the garden pleasure, and gather all the fragrant flowers there; would these satisfy you? Go to he treasures of mammon, and to the trophies of honour; would any of these, would all of these satisfy you and make you to consider yourself happy? If so, then certainly you are carnal and unconverted. If not, go farther; wade into the divine excellencies, the store of his mercies, the hiding of his power, the depths unfathomable of his all-sufficiency. Does this suit you best and please you most? Do you say; ‘It is good to be here; here will I dwell, and here will I live and die?’ Will you let the whole world go rather than lose this? Then it is well between God and you; happy are you, O man – happy are you that you were born. If God can make you happy, you must be happy, for you have taken the Lord to be your God. Do you say to Christ; ‘Your Father shall be my Father, and your God my God?’ Here is the turning point. An unsound convert never takes up his rest in God; but converting grace does the work, and cures the fatal misery of the fall by turning the heart from its idols to the living God. Here, the soul centres, here it settles. It is the entrance of heaven to him; he sees his interest in God. Is this the case with you? Have you experienced this? If so then, ‘blessed are you of the Lord.’
Dr. Packer has had a long-standing passion for the Puritans. Their understanding of God and His ways with man has largely formed his own spirituality and theological outlook. In A Quest for Godliness, the esteemed author of Knowing God and a dozen other books shares with his readers the rich world of Puritanism that has been so influential in his own life.
Dr. Packer masterfully uncovers the hidden treasures of Puritan life and thought. With crystalline clarity he reveals the depth and breadth of Puritan spiritual life, contrasting it with the superficiality and deadness of modern Western Christianity.
Drawing on a lifetime of study, Dr. Packer takes the reader on a survey of the lives and teachings of great Puritan leaders such as John Owen, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards. He offers a close look at such subjects as the Puritan view of the Bible, spiritual gifts, the Sabbath, worship, social action, and the family. He concludes that a main difference between the Puritans and ourselves is spiritual maturity–the Puritans had it; we don’t.
In a time of failing vision and decaying values, this powerful portrait of Puritans is a beacon of hope that calls us to radical commitment and action when both are desperately needed.
A Quest for Godliness is a profoundly moving and challenging exploration of Puritan life and thought in a beautifully written book. Here is J. I. Packer at his very best.